Six silly hats (when is it OK to mock stuff you think is daft?)


Who doesn’t love wearing silly hats? Christmas dinner just wouldn’t be the same without popping on a paper hat and looking like a complete buffoon for the duration. But does this kind of behaviour have a place in education? And if you think not, is it acceptable to poke fun at those who disagree?

First of all, let’s establish whether or not Edward de Bono’s Thinking hats actually are silly. Harry Webb’s rule of thumb on determining whether an idea is silly or has merit is to imagine whether it could feature in a Monty Python sketch. Now clearly I’m partisan here, but can’t you just see John Cleese and co having enormous fun with the hats? The sketch practically writes itself. And obviously Brian Gym would work too: I can almost hear Eric Idle’s guffaws as he enthusiastically rubs his ‘brain buttons’. But some education ideas just aren’t as funny. regardless of whether you think they’re any good, there’s just not that much scope for lampooning Direct Instruction, Jigsawing or whole class discussions.

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